Overturned car after braking for animal

A New Mills man who overturned his car while drunk had been doing a favour for a friend, a court heard.

Police were called to Hayfield Road in Birch Vale at 4.30am on September 22 to a single vehicle crash, High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard. A Peugeot 206 driven by Benjamin David Warhurst had overturned causing damage to all the panels of the vehicle, as well as hitting a lamppost and damaging a nearby wall, prosecutor Jennifer Fitzgerald said.

Warhurst and his passenger were being treated by paramedics when officers arrived at the scene and after failing a breath test, he was arrested and taken to the police station where he provided a reading of 86. The legal limit is 35.

In interview, Warhurst said he had consumed two pints of Peroni and two pints of Kronenbourg at home before walking to the Pride of the Peaks pub where he had a pint of Stella. He then started to walk back to his home address but saw a friend who was having some domestic problems so offered to drive them back to Hayfield. He said he was returning to New Mills and as he rounded a left hand bend at approximately 43 miles an hour, an animal ran out in front of him, so he braked but then lost control of the vehicle and it overturned.

Warhurst, 21, of Beard Crescent, admitted drink-driving.

Annis Rowlands, defending, said: “The matter couldn’t be more straight forward.

“He had some drink earlier in the evening. He walked back from the pub and had no intention to drive. It is only when he comes across another friend that he is persuaded to run his other friend to his girlfriend’s in Hayfield. He was returning home and it was at that point he was involved in this accident.

“The Peugeot was a write-off as a result. He was fully insured and the damage has been paid for by his insurers.

“He was extremely candid with the ambulance crews and police who attended. He says straight away that he was the driver and this is what happened.”

She added: “Mr Warhurst is extremely remorseful about what happened. It is going to be a mistake which costs him extremely dearly. He is a decent young man in full time employment. He works for an engineering company in Chapel-en-le-Frith and can get there through public transport. His employment is not in jeopardy.

“He accepts his behaviour on that night was foolish. Fortunately neither him or his passenger sustained any injuries.”

He was fined £264, ordered to pay £85 costs and a £26 surcharge and banned from driving for 20 months.